Creating Faux Wallpaper in the Bathroom

>> 10.26.2009

When I revealed my bathroom after pictures last week, many of you seemed interested in learning how I did that wallpaper-esque wall treatment. Well, here's the breakdown:

1. I decided to go with the faux treatment rather than buying and installing real wallpaper because it is cheaper and much easier to change. The supplies are pretty minimal and if you are already on a painting frenzy (as I am), you probably wont need to buy more than one or two items. Supplies:
-painter's tape
-paint roller
-stencil (I created my own using a $2 craft store kit and a utility knife)
-mini paint roller (I snagged mine from the dollar store)
-Paint: I took the easy way out with this one and used three paint colors off of the same sample card. In addition, I already had two of the three in other rooms of my home. The most important part of this treatment is using a semi-gloss layered under a flat paint. Really, any color combo will work, but you might have to pay more attention to detail if you go with a high contrast combo like orange and white.

My colors were: Behr's Irish Mist in semi-gloss, Silver Drop in flat(a color I'm using throughout the downstairs), and Dolphin Fin in flat (another color I'm using in the house).

2. Paint the two base colors.
The top will be the semi-gloss and the bottom will be the darkest flat color. For this step it's okay to make a messy line where the two meet.

3. Prep the paint surface by leveling off the connecting line. To do this, I put my level at the height that I wanted the base to come up (roughly 4'6) to and marked that line. *Thrifty tip: a used match can be used to mark lines on walls. The mark will easily rub off instead of needing to be erased and won't need several coats of paint to cover up.

When the level line is marked, just roll the darker paint up for an even effect.

4. Create or buy a stencil. I wanted to save the money and time it would take to find a stencil I would like, but feel free to buy one from a craft store or online boutique.
To make the stencil pattern, I folded a piece of paper into four and cut out the shape I wanted for the wall.

Then, I traced that shape onto the long stencil plastic that I bought from the craft store for $2. After cutting the shapes out with a utility knife, I was ready to paint!
5. Tape your stencil up using the painter's tape and paint the medium flat color with a mini-roller.
I marked 9 inches between the start of each stencil then went back and added the middle row as the paint dried.

You'll probably need to go back and do a second coat of paint (unless you go with a really nice paint in the first place) or do some touch-ups, but that's basically it!

In the end, I'm happy with the outcome and I'll probably do it again in the guest bathroom. When I do it again, I'll probably buy some better-coating paint for the stencil portion so that there aren't as many touch-ups to be done. Also, you probably won't see me attempting to stencil a room any larger than this one!

Have you ever tried a stenciling technique on your walls (I'd love to see a link)?
Are there any paint treatments in your future?
Update: I've linked this post to DIY Day over at A Soft Place to Land. Head over to enjoy all of the other DIY projects!


Jenny October 26, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

I love it! Way to do it yourself and save a ton of money! Plus, it looks gorgeous when it reflects light - definitely adds a high-end touch to your new bathroom. I love the idea of making your own stencil too!

priscilla October 26, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

the new bathroom looks great! and thanks for the awesome tip about using a match to draw the line. i just painted stripes in one of my rooms, and i'm dreading going back in there to erase all of my pencil lines. brilliant idea for next time!

Danielle and Clint October 26, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

Wow! Now that's thrifty! Love it!

Design A-Peele October 26, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

wow! your bathroom looks great! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'll have to try out this little stencil work :)

Sara @ Russet Street Reno October 26, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

Funny, I also picked 'Silver Drop' for my downstairs bath, then went back to Home Depot to darken it to the 'Dolphin' color, then scrapped the whole gray idea to use the dark teal from my entryway instead. Mr. dolphin will soon be plastered all over a spare room I'm currently using as a 'dressing room'. Great idea for the stenciling, too!

About Us: October 26, 2009 at 3:05 PM  

thank you for stopping by my blog! I'm so glad you left a comment, such a sweet one at that.
Looks like you did an amazing job on your bathroom reno.
I'll stop back and see you soon!


Julia @ Hooked on Houses October 26, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

Very cool! I love the way it dresses up the bathroom a little in such a sophisticated way. The colors you used for it are beautiful, too! Bravo. :-)

Albion October 26, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

Beautiful! what a neat idea.

My name is Laurie Jones. October 27, 2009 at 3:40 PM  

Wow, you go girl! That's alot of work! Great bathroom, I hope you enjoy it, it looks great!

MMW October 27, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

Kasey - what a gorgeous result! I like the pearlescent finish with the paint colours you used.

I also love the concept you share of Frugal - Thrifty ideas. I need LOTS of those.

Thanks for stopping by Never Without! I'll be sure to check back here again too,


Sarah October 27, 2009 at 3:55 PM  

WOW, now that takes patience! it paid off, tho :) really inventive and stylish!

Ashley @ AshleysBusy October 27, 2009 at 6:14 PM  

Girl, that looks awesome! Love the stencil effect. I'm gonna check out the rest of your blog now :)

Delightful Dwelling October 27, 2009 at 9:22 PM  

It looks beautiful! What a neat idea, thanks for sharing how you did it.

HollyandGary October 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

I love this! I am somewhat obsessed with gray in my home and your bathroom just reinforces my belief that it might be the perfect neutral. So soft and modern and chic. Your bathroom is crazy inspiring!

Bromeliad October 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

Stencils frighten me.

You did a nice job.

heidi October 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

Wow! That is really cool! Good work. :-) Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

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